The next generation of mobile internet connectivity has arrived in the UK, with smartphone users in a handful of major cities across the country now able to access the much anticipated 5G network.
EE is the first UK network to launch the technology, shortly followed by Vodafone next month, and both have plans to increase their 5G distribution over the coming months in key locations.
To use 5G today, you must live or work in one of the networks’ launch cities and of course, have a new 5G phone and service to take advantage of it. Older phones or those without this compatibility simply will not work.
The benefits of 5G connectivity are vast and appealing to both consumers and businesses. With average download speeds expected to reach around 1GBps, users will be able to download a film in ultra-high definition in the time it takes to read the description, ultimately transforming the way people will use their phones in the future. For businesses, not only will users be able to communicate faster, but the infrastructure required to enable 5G will lead to more antennas – supporting numerous data-capture points – and ultimately, more insight into behaviours.
Vodafone will also be launching their 5G services in Germany, Spain and Italy this summer – a valuable service enhancement for customers who travel abroad for work. This will however put usage under the spotlight, and we advise our customers to make use of our portal and app to ensure they are fully aware of their data consumption and spend when roaming, avoiding any risk of bill shock.
One of the biggest long-term benefits to 5G customers is the ability for mobile networks to provide more connections at any one time, whilst some operators have singled their intentions to explore ‘network slicing’, or the ability to carve up networks into a number of ‘slices’. By carving up networks in this way, mobile operators will be able to tailor different types of contract to different people, adjusting download speeds, latencies and bandwidths in line with user profiles.
The launch of 5G forms part of a wider, and global, plan to enable high bandwidth and high availability mobile services across the world by 2020, whilst ensuring existing technologies continue to deliver reliable connections.
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